What would you do?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by bobbyd, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    I received the following email from a church member yesterday:
    "I would hate to think that I had to choose my church according to the politics of the Pastor. The Republican party is non profit and it's real name is National Association for Hating Colored People."

    It came from a man who was on the pastor search committee that brought me here, most recent deacon chairman and is our Sunday School director. I found out recently he was an old union guy and is rank and file democrat, and that is no problem with me, i've dealt with that and worst in the past. I also let the church know up front i am politically and theologically conservative but will not preach politics but will speak on Biblical moral issues from that point of view...in fact if they have heard any politics from me it has been what is wrong with both parties.
    I am fairly vocal about my political beliefs outside the church, on Facebook, etc...but not EVER from the pulpit.
    This one is rocking me, i have never experienced something like this before.
     
  2. matt wade

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    I'd respond with an email that said:

    "I would hate to think that I had to disfellowship people from the church if they supported politicians that vote in policies on abortion."

    Of course, I'm not a pastor, and my hypothetical repsonse is one of the reasons why :).
     
  3. jaigner

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    I would try to speak with the man in person, not through email, and explain that we're first and foremost called to be representatives of Christ's Kingdom here on earth. I would also explain that we have liberty in our political opinions but that in essentials, we strive for unity.
     
  4. sag38

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    Talk to the man directly. Good luck! Yellow dog democrats are blind and mean as can be when it comes to politics. They will pull the democratic lever come hell or high water.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    I wouldn't do emails with him.

    To his face is best.

    I had a pastor once who had been invited to a rally. He found out as he showed up it was a KKK meeting. He ended up walking around where the cars were parked, and getting tag numbers. He later walked around his church parking lot to match up numbers and then confronted the members.
     
  6. Batt4Christ

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    I can understand somewhat your situation - the chairman of my deacons is a die-hard Democrat who actually worked in the gubenatorial administration of a recent Democrat president. Thankfully, he has never accused me of preaching politics - and I have spoken to him as well as my congregation - pointing out that I won't preach politics, but I do have a duty to preach moral issues as they arise within my expository preaching of God's Word. I also have no problems encouraging people to register to vote, and to cast their votes based on their beliefs.

    I tend to agree - face-to-face is the only way to handle this. Email just allows invites trouble. I would consider the email an offense to you personally that questions your integrity. God's Word tells us in such cases to go to that brother privately, seeking reconciliation. If that doesn't work, then take two or three witnesses with you and try again.... and finally, to take it up with the church as a whole. Matthew 18:15-17

    But I believe if you were to meet privately, this gentleman will respond to sincere reason in the appropriate way. Pray on it and then schedule a meeting.
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    Like others have said, face to face is best. But good luck with him, you'll need it. I did notice he used the phrase "colored people" talk about racism.

    2 thoughts hit me about the situation:
    First, you may want to have someone who isn't involved look over your sermons to see if you are really as non-political as you think you are. I am not saying you are, I am just saying that all of us have a blind spot about our preaching.

    Second, We are preachers of the Gospel. People do not see our private political leanings as apart from our calling. Maybe, and I am not judging you at all or even thinking that you are doing this, you have allowed that partisan politics to be the topic of many conversations with your church people.

    Just some thots... that aren't worth $0.02.
     
  8. rbell

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    See, this is why folks go into youth ministry.

    We read these threads, make some stupid statement like, "Heh....I'd just moon him," and folks shake their heads and say, "doggone youth ministers..."

    Doesn't solve or accomplish anything, but whaddaya do? :eek: :D :D

    (back on topic, though....sad how the guy's statement totally belies his premise not letting politics dictate his faith)
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    His first sentence:

    is, IMHO, all right. It cuts both ways. No one should choose a church because of politics.

    The second sentence is totally out of line. There are some who hate Obama simply because of race. Notice I said 'some' and did not identify a political party as that hatred also comes from a wide political spectrum and certainly is not restricted to one segment of one party.
     
  10. Salty

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    I fully agree - buts lets keep in mind some only voted for Obama because of his race...
    Others voted against Bush having a 3rd term...
     
  11. bobbyd

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    Thanks for all the replies. This is a new one to me. At my last church i had both the county D-Chairman and R-Chairman as members, so dancing around issues that could seem political are nothing new to me. And as for dealing with a yellow dog democrat/rank and file union guy, had that one too...but nothing like this.
    I do plan on talking to him face to face but haven't had the opportunity yet. It has been weighing on my mind and is what i think about when i have any free time. Sadly i got it on a Saturday and i try not to discuss much more than sermon on Sunday and then i had a horrible headache yesterday that kept me home all day.

    Keep praying.
     
  12. Steven2006

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    My .02. The man is clearly wrong in two ways. First he should have come and spoken to you in person if he had a problem. Second his accusation is way over the top, and crosses the line into sounding hate filled.

    However, and again this is only my opinion, I feel it is best for a pastor to not be overly political.

    "I am fairly vocal about my political beliefs outside the church, on Facebook, etc..."


    .
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    Just throwing this out there...but as a pastor your words have equal weight whether they are in the pulpit or outside the pulpit.

    Let's say that you are down at the local diner and talking openly about your political views and how this policy or that policy isn't very good. One of your members heard it and objected. How is your position different for that member if you're in the diner than in the pulpit?

    You can say that you're politically conservative, that's fine, but on your Facebook have you posted more about your life and your ministry or more about politics? Just a thought for consideration.
     
  14. sag38

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    Yep, you need to keep your political opinions to yourself. Dem's may hear you and be offended. Hogwash!!!!
     
  15. Salty

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    Could be I am at an advantage.

    I live in Central New York, and preach at a church in Central Pa. Have no ideal about local politics there.
    Here in NY, I am on the executive committe of the County Conservative Party.
     
  16. sag38

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    Certainly I keep my political opinions out of the pulpit and am even careful what I say when I am at church. But, in everyday life when I'm talking with friends, etc., I'm not going to temper my political speech because some union man may over hear me and be offended. He'll just have to be offended. Personally, I'm offended because he's a union hack.
     

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